Facebook's new tool reveals any Russian propaganda account you liked or followed

25 December, 2017, 19:01 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Facebook releases tool to let users see Russian content they've interacted with

Last month, Facebook revealed that it would soon launch a tool enabling its users to check whether they'd unwittingly "liked" a Russian 2016 election propaganda post.

How it works: You will be able to see if pages or accounts you liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017 were created by Russian operatives, who tried to sow discord with posts and ads on race, religion, gun rights, gay rights, immigration and other hot-button issues.

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More than 140 million people were likely exposed to Russia-linked propaganda during the election, so if it did happen to you, you're certainly not in the minority.

The new tool is found in Facebook's Help Center, though you can go directly to it via this link.

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By this point, it's pretty much understood that Russian Federation attempted to influence the 2016 Presidential election in the United States through social media posts. The new tool is placed somewhere in the Help Center of the social networking site. "The Russians did so by weaving together fake accounts, pages and communities to push politicized content and videos and to mobilize real Americans to sign online petitions and join rallies and protests".

"Do you not also have an obligation to let those folks know that that was a hoax, that - or at least inform them who was behind that sponsored advertisement", Rep. (D-Ala.) asked Facebook's general counsel Colin Stretch during the November House hearing.

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As for the tool Facebook released Friday, it's rather straightforward. Once there, the service will show whether your account was used to "like" any of the propaganda content created by Russian entities to stir up controversy, create division, manipulate voters, and ultimately sway the election outcome. You'll either see a message saying you didn't follow any of the pages or you will get a list of the pages you followed as well as the date you followed them.

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